Flash fiction: Fire and Earth

Jordan Castillo Price

“You’ve got the perfect hands for clay, Tony.” David dragged his wet fingertips along my knuckles in a slippery caress. He always knew the right thing to say, and still he managed to come up with some real stunners. I had a worker’s hands, tough and callused, with soil permanently ground in the knuckles and nail beds. Sure, I wear gloves. But one thing you learn running a landscaping business: dirt happens. David shared a similar philosophy. For all his pretty-boy charm, he had one rugged set of hands on him too, strong, singed, and hardened by years of shaping his creepy clay figures.

“Maybe I don’t need to worry about ruining my manicure,” I said, “but that doesn’t mean I’m any good. This is a heck of a lot harder than it looks.”

“Give it time. Get a feel for it. And make multiples—my kiln is a fickle bitch.”

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